Sunday, December 20, 2015

Future of Fiction Magazine

Cover photo from my Flipboard Magazine 12-20-2015

Did you know authors are supposed to have a newsletter? I tried to talk myself into writing an email newsletter, but I just couldn't get excited about it. So I decided to go with a Flipboard magazine which I would enjoy writing for and curating.

I've added direct links to the magazine page in the navbars

 If you'd rather have content in email, you can always add your address in the subscribe box on the sidebar to have this blog's content delivered directly to you. There is an email subscribe link on the Nara Malone blog as well.

What you will find here:

* Articles about cutting edge storytelling
* Explorations in storytelling
* Reviews of intersting stories or games
* How storytelling is evolving
* Articles from the blog
* Articles from blog
* Articles on Craft
* Adventures in the Next Dimension
* Information on my projects and books
* Story Inspiration in words, pictures, and virtual reality

Click the magazine cover to open it in your browser.
View my Flipboard Magazine.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Characters Matter:The Power of NPCs in Opensimulator.

It wasn't until I started preparing for this presentation and read some material Fred unearthed that I realized  Non Player Characters, or bots as they are called in other virtual worlds, have traditionally been used to cheat in games, manipulate traffic through a region, or con people out of money. Perhaps that explains why some people aren't as thrilled as I am to see NPCs developed and promoted.
Fuschia Nightfire poetry avatar scene one Immersive Edge

My experience of NPCs is quite the opposite. I see them as characters, personalities created by someone to entertain, to assist, and particularly from my perspective as an author--a storytelling tool.

This is Rob, my first NPC. I used the Call Mom AI in a wristband he wore which made him my digital assistant. He could post reminders to my calendar, do internet searches, send texts and emails and while he wasn't helping me he could greet visitors to my regions and dance with them. If they were clever they could discover Rob had a storytelling feature hidden inside and chatting with him could unlock sections of the story.
Rob Bot my first NPC

Like me, Fred Beckhusen has always seen NPCs as characters and helpers. He's particularly intrigued by the AI aspects and set me up with the AI we use for Lizzy, a rather unique and funny little chatbot we leave out to greet visitors to the Greyville Writer's Colony in Nara's Nook. You can visit Lizzy at I'll warn you now the conversation can wander into unexpected topics and Lizzy can get a bit fresh. I suggest you decline any invitations to tour her apartment.
Nook Greeter Lizzy B

One criticism I hear of  NPC's is that they are disturbing, empty, nothing there inside.

Yes, they are simply scripted pixels, but any character from literature is to some degree just the author's scripted lines that reveal a personality. Charlie Brown isn't real. Scarlett O'Hara isn't real. Flo from the insurance commercials isn't real. They are empty of any thought but those inserted by the creator. They are words on a page in the same way an NPC is pixels on a page. But don't you feel like they are someone you know? Don't you get a sense of who the creator is through the experience of meeting their creation? That's because the personality and imagination of their creator is the DNA they are fashioned from.

To illustrate my point lets have a little pop quiz. Over on the left side is the choice of creators. I'm going to run through these slides and see if you can tell me which was created by artist Cherry Manga, programmer Neo Cortex, romance author Shannan Albright, all around crazy creator Fred Beckhusen and which one I did.
Immersive Edge Scene 2 by Shannan Albright

Digiman from Neo Cortex
Image from Cherry Manga and Praline B Immersive Edge scene 6

Fred Beckhusen's Slug NPC
Answers:Shannan Albright, Neo Cortex, Cherry Manga, Fred Beckhusen

Without knowing very much about any of these characters you all rather quickly get a sense of the personality behind the creation. Because  it is through the stories we tell each other, the worlds we build and the avatar characters we create that we all come to know each other.

Author Shannan Albright creating her first NPC

Fortunately, Opensim makes it incredibly easy for us to create characters. This is Shannan Albright as a two-week-old avatar creating her first NPC. You dress the way you want the character to look, click the poseball, and there you have an NPC. We give away these easy NPC kits with instructions at Nara's Nook. You can find one by the landing zone. You can also find one here at the conference in region Expo 3. We have several freebies and some NPC there to entertain you.

The slideshow board I use  runs on PMAC and rezzes both NPC and props

One of the kits contains something called PMAC which is like MLP only much simpler to use and NPC friendl. This screen I am using her runs on PMAC. I can rez animated characters and props from it. It strikes me as an excellent tool for teaching history or a variety of other subjects.

Scene 10 Immersive Edge

Now it used to be a bit of a challenge to tell stories with NPC. As part of our Hypergrid Story project Immersive Edge, we invited some of the best NPC scripters in Opensim to help us change that. Our NPC story sequencer is built on Fred Beckhusen's sequencer script and the All-in-One NPC script he has been working on for many years. Neo Cortex, Aine Caoimhe, and Fred Beckhusen added code on a weekly and sometimes daily basis to support some of features we needed in our story. What that gave us is a single script in a prim that can run an entire scene for a story. Add appearance notecards for the characters, any animations you want to use and write the actions and dialogues in a notecard called story, much like you might write a script for a movie. You never have to touch the script. A visitor collides with the prim, the story plays out and resets itself to wait for the next visitor. What you see here is a shapeshifter.

Scene 10 Immersive Edge
Both of these pictures with mirrors are from Immersive Edge. It's a mirror scene at the end of the story. As part of our exploration of how an avatar changes who you are, we put these characters through a change at the end of every scene. They weren't always beautiful, not always human. The team for each scene chose who the characters would become next. Here the avatars are about to return to the real world and they are having a conversation about their adventure. As they talk they shift through every avatar appearance they took on throughout the story. They have a conversation about how the changes impacted them.

So think about this. We have two characters, each  changing through nine different appearances, while they dance and talk. Those characters are mirrored in five mirrors which means we need an NPC couple behind each mirror and they have to change instantly with the pair in the center while they are dancing. This is all managed by one prim, with one script and the appearance cards for each NPC appearance. The NPC are rezzed, they sit on a PMAC powered prim. And the whole thing just works. Twelve NPC changing appearance, shifting shape, in sync, as they dance and talk. It's not complicated to do this.

NPC Learning Lab in

Our build from Last year's OSCC. We saved the oar and turned it into an NPC learning lab. There are islands in the sky. The teleporters will take you up to see any of the eight builds there demonstrating how to use NPCs to engage visitors to your worlds.

These are the same tools Fred and Debbie use at Virunga to bring you their Gorillas in the Mist. They use them at Dragons to carry you into the beautiful fantasy world. They use them at Frankie to make you laugh until your sides hurt. They are the tools we use to tell Hypergrid Stories and entertain visitors to the Nara's Nook.

Book sculpture by Cherry Manga

I've touched on NPC history, current tools for creating NPC and showed some ways we use them. Before I hand you off to Fred I want to touch on the future. Part of that future being a 3D storytelling library we created to house Immersive Edge and made open to the hypergrid so that you can tell your own stories and have them linked there through the Next Dimension Tales grid.

A library where you check into stories rather than check them out.

That is the near future. And I'm also hoping in the very near future we'll  be able to click a link in an ebook that would launch a viewer and let the reader rez inworld in a default avatar.  I would love to see readers move into virtual worlds from a story, or to have the ability to take someone from nonfiction instructions on how to do something, into a virtual setting with all the tools to practice accomplishing that task. I'd love to see history books take students into a time period, to have them meet historical figures.

Image form Immersive Edge Scene Six by Cherry Manga and Praline B

The ability to bring books and Opensimulator together will open a multitude of new uses. The only thing lacking is that working clickable link. So that part of Opensim's future is only a click away.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The End of One Adventure is the Beginning of the Next for Hypergrid Storytellers

We launched Immersive Edge this weekend and celebrated at the after party last night. It's the Monday morning after.

What Next? 

Well to start let's talk  about Next Dimension Tales which is a brand new grid that quietly launched  as part of Immersive Edge.
We wanted a place that was not linked to any particular commercial or private grid, something that could stand on it's own as a common ground for the hypergrid community. This is a library for 3D stories. If you create one we would like to link it via a holographic scene or a gate back to your grid. If it is a story built by a multi-grid team we can make space to host some. This is a free service so finances will create limits to how many can be directly hosted. Future projects from our teams will be hosted here. Immersive Edge will remain here open to the public.

How to submit a story to Next Dimension Tales:

1) It must be a 3D story.
2) It must be a story: a clear beginning, middle, end.
3) If both the above are true, you get in touch with Nara Malone via FaceBook, G+ or inworld and let her know you'd like to place a story at Next Dimension Tales.
4) Don't be intimidated by the rules because I am notorious for not following them. 

What will this look like?

I have a vision of a catalog region of floating books that rez a scene when you land on it. You would then walk through the scene as an introduction to the story and go through a teleporter into the book which may be hosted on another grid. I think of it as a library where you check into a book rather than check a book out. Ideas often shift and refine themselves as you start making them a reality, but that's where it stands for now.

We will be a resource for storybuilding as well:

The tools we used to build Immersive Edge, the tools we use to control NPCs are all there. Other creators are already contacting us about including AI, making ebooks that contain portals into worlds, holodeck novels and so on. We will add to current resources as new methods are developed.

Exploring the future of fiction:

Nara's Nook Greyville Writer's Colony was created to explore the future of fiction in virtual reality and how virtual reality can continue to inspire better traditional text stories. The Immersive Edge project demonstrates that it takes more than a writer to tell a 3D story. It requires artists, scripters, musicians, etc. Fortunately our grid projects have been a gathering places for folks with these skills, sometimes those skills are all wrapped up in one person. Most Nook members have homes on other grids but come to Nook to join our experiments. Others enjoy making their homes with us. Either way, Nook is where the plotting and experimenting takes place and we welcome anyone who wants to explore the future of fiction with us. If you decide to join the Nook grid, please hold off until next week as we are in the process of moving to a new server and would lose any new members registering now.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Full List of Immersive Edge Machinima

I thought I'd post the complete list of Immersive Edge machinima from Nina Camplin. I will add the remaining scenes here as they are made public. Nina's machinima is dramatic and compelling. Keep in mind that while the Immersive Edge movie tells the story in flash fiction narrative, there is a deeper story inside each scene. All scenes include immersive interaction between visitors and characters. You know you don't want to miss fending off crocodiles, riding the flying bed, shooting demons to set humans trapped inside free.

Chapter One: The Tesla Tower
The Tesla Tower scene was designed and built by Nara Malone, Neo Cortex, and Shannan Albright. Namaka's Journal Narrative and character dialog by Nara Malone.

Chapter Two: The Wizards RetreatWizard's retreat was built by Avia Bonne with scripting help from Jessie Campbell. Gameplay, characters, dialog and Dylan's Journal narrative from Shannan Albright. Be sure to test your skill crossing the bridge of falling books.

 Chapter Three: The Swamp
The swamp scene was designed and built by Mattie McBride, Serene Jewel, and Fred Beckhusen. Character dialog by the builders and Namaka's Journal narrative by Nara Malone. This scene is an exploration of nonhuman characters and I think it is safe to say there are more characters in this scene than any other.

Chapter Four: The Desert
 Surreal build from Talia Sunsong and Endora Twinklens. Characters and dialog from the builders. Dylan's Journal Narrative from Shannan Albright. The Escher house is a must-see.

Chapter Five: Unicorn Valley
Fantasy and faeries from Sunbeam Magic with scripting help from Jessie Campbell, Fred Beckhusen, Neo Crotex and Aine Caoimhe. Namaka's Journal narrative from Nara Malone and character dialog from Sunbeam Magic. This is a build that feeds the soul. Be sure an ride that flying bed.

Chapter Six: Metamorphosis
Praline B and Cherry Manga were tasked with taking us through the dark night of the soul. Four levels of emotional and artistic brilliance await. The emotion HUDs put you inside the character viewpoint. Namaka's Journal narrative by Nara Malone. Scene dialogue by Cherry Manga and Praline B. Don't miss riding the keys.

 Chapter Seven: The Keeper's Tower
 Aine Caoimhe made a refuge for our characters where they could rest and reflect before the final conflict. Beautiful statues have lessons hidden inside. Dylan's Journal narrative written  by Shannan Albright. The Lesson dialogs were written by Aine Caoimhe.

Chapter Eight: The Labyrinth 

Ruby O' DeGee's build is a delight and a marvel. It includes a balloon ride and a chase across the sim through the labyrinth. Dylan's Journal narrative by Shannan Albright. Character dialog by Ruby O' DeGee. Don't miss collecting the treasures in the pirate chest.

Chapter Nine: Demon Dancers

From Shin Ingen, the demon dance is the final battle before you reach the portals home to choose your future. You must set free the unmask all the demons with the laser gun to unlock the portals. It's not easy, but you won't want to stop until you've done it.

Chapter Ten: Choose Your Ending

There are three portals to choose from after the demons are conquered. You choose the ending you want for Namaka and Dylan.

Immersive Edge the Full Movie

All the scenes above combined to to tell the story.

 To learn more about Immersive Edge, view walkthroughs and find details  visit our website.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Meet the Presenters for Immersive Edge Launch

We're lucky to have an incredibly talented team  working on Immersive Edge and luckier still to have a gifted group of presenters dropping by on launch weekend to share their knowledge about story building  and storytelling. Presentation will last about 15 minutes, followed by  a few quick instructions from me on how to adjust your viewer settings for best experience and how to access the story. Then our team will give you a guided tour through Immersive Edge. Clean out those suitcases because scattered through the scenes are gift items and storytelling tools. We look forward to seeing friends from around the metaverse.

Speaker info and times :

Sande Chen:  How Technology is Changing Storytelling.

If you are a fan of The Witcher then you are already a Sande Chen fan. If you're more into serious games, the you'll recognize her as the coauthor of the book, Serious Games. She is respected throughout the gaming community as a game designer and author. Sande will be speaking Sunday, Nov 8th at 9 AM SLT.
Bio: Sande Chen is a writer and game designer whose game credits span 10 years in the industry. Her writing credits include 1999 Independent Games Festival winner Terminus and the PC RPG of the Year, The Witcher, for which she was nominated for a 2007 Writers Guild Award in Videogame Writing. She is the co-author of Serious Games: Games That Educate, Train, and Inform and a contributor to Writing for Video Game Genres, Professional Techniques for Video Game Writing, and Secrets of the Game Business. In 2006, she was profiled as one of the game industry's top 100 most influential women for her work as Director of the non-profit, Girls in Games, Inc. She has spoken about games at conferences around the globe, including the Game Developers Conference, Austin Game Conference, and the Serious Games Summit D.C. She also has a Grammy nomination.

Ruby O' DeGee: Story Building

I was looking for a bio on Ruby and found this article and stole a chunk of it because I swear Ruby and I have some kind of mind link going on. This is exactly what I think the future of storytelling should look like:

"It seems like it took forever.  12 years of developing a process for storybuilding with virtual reality technology.  And finally we are not so lonely anymore.

With those billions of dollars on the horizon 2018-2020, the band wagon is being loaded with the folks (entertainment corporate sorts) who have the wherewithal to get things going.  I am not one of those folks, but my heart and soul is in it.  I would like to live long enough to see it happen: the wider acceptance of a new storytelling medium using digital and immersion arts.  From poetic tales written across clay tablets to novels and film.  Now at last we readers will enter the stories we tell for as long as we like, experience the triumphs and pitfalls, and be out in time to have dinner with our families or get a good night's sleep in our own cozy beds."
Drop by Saturday, November 7th, 9 AM SLT for Ruby's talk on Story Building. 

Bio : Ruby O'Degee is a fictive author and storybuilder, penned by Ann Dickerson. In the tradition of characters developed for telling stories (Sherlock Holmes, Marco Polo, Cynthia Rawlings), Ruby was first made a character for a journal in 1994, and later represented by an avatar (fall of 2003). Ruby is much better known than her typist, author and benefactor, a fact that pleases Ann.

Aine Caoimhe:  All about PMAC  

How do I love PMAC? Let me count the ways... I love it because I was able to figure it out myself in about 10 minutes. I love it because it sets me free from all plus and minus clicking of buttons in MLP to adjust a position. You just grab the model and put them where you want. I love it because starting from scratch with a build was impossible for me to figure out with MLP, but with PMAC I can do a set of animations for an object in a few minutes. I love it most of all because using NPCs on MLP is always a frustrating and iffy business. PMAC is built with NPCs in mind and sometimes even right inside. If those aren't enough reasons, when I replaced all the MLP in one house in one region with PMAC it dropped the region script usage by 30 percent.

Bio: Originally a photographic artist in the 70's and 80's, I gradually added digital art to my repertoire and now work primarily in Photoshop and Blender. I'm enjoying the freedom of retirement to explore 3D virtual worlds using Opensimulator software (OSGrid people will better know me as Mata Hari).

At various times I have taught, lectured and led workshops on photography, visual perception, and the psychology of art to all levels of student -- from post-grads to grade schoolers.

Now living in the wonderfully secluded wilds of northern Ontario with my daughter -- soon to be off to university herself -- and the latest addition to the family: Bonnie, our yellow Labrador retriever who keeps my heart light (and feet warm!)

On Saturday November 7th, noon SLT, Aine will demonstrate just how easy it is to make the PMAC system a part of your story builds.

 Fred Beckhusen: All-in-One-NPC Controller

The foundation of Immersive Edge is Fred's NPC controller. The years of work he has poured into making a tool easy for everyone paid off on this project. From artists to authors we were all able to use some version of Fred's work to rez and move NPCs through a scene to tell our stories. While we were building he kept adding new features we told him we needed. I think his controller went through a dozen  revisions over the course of the project. We've coaxed Fred out from under his troll bridge to demonstrate all the amazing things that are possible with his NPC controller.
Fred will be demonstrating the NPC Controller on November 8th at noon SLT.

Bio: Fred K. Beckhusen, President, Micro Technology Services, Inc. Microcomputer and microprocessor hardware design and programming. My software work is primarily in C and its variants C++ and C#, with lots of perl, lsl script, Visual Basic, 3-D modeling in Solidworks, and lots of other languages and tools I'd rather forget, dating all the way back to the early 1970's. My first computer was the Rockwell Autonetics Recomp-II, a 1K word, 40-bit drum-memory military computer. I took it apart, rebuild it, and wrote John Conways "Game of Life" for it, from careful study of the Mathematical Games column in Scientific American. I still read and love Scientific American, which first published the rules for the game of Life in 1970. Yeah, I know. It dates me.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Story Sequencer Puts NPC Storytelling in Hands of Everyday Users

One of the most amazing scenes from Immersive Edge--an interactive story I have been working on--is this mirror scene. The couple dances in Avia Bonne's beautiful setting surrounded by mirrors. As they dance their appearance changes and the shift through each avatar identity that have taken on over the course of the story.

While this happens there is a dialogue going on, timed to match each shift in appearance.We needed a scene that would play through from beginning to end and reset to wait for the next visitor. This scene led to a collaboration of the scripters. Fred Beckhusen's NPC controller allowed ordinary users to type a list of simple actions on a notecard and NPCs would do them. Aine Caoimhe's PMAC let's non-techy users control and adjust animations and sit NPCs on them to run automatically.  Neo Cortex combined the power of Fred's NPC Controller and another script Fred used to make his controllers work in a sequence.  The result was a story sequencer specifically structured so writers can use NPCs to deliver a story.

With help from Aine Caoimhe, Neo added some code that allows the sequencer to deliver simultaneous appearance changes to a group of NPCs. We had five couples behind mirrors plus the center couple. Watch that change and you see the one in the mirror and the center happen at once. One PMAC script animates all 12 NPCs. So think about that. This is a tool with many applications. Machinima and dance shows come immediately to mind. Musical performances. Theater performances. Tour guides for your regions. With these tools, one not-so-skilled user can create master performances.

Using the the Story Sequencer is dead simple:

All of the tools that power the Immersive Edge scenes will be there free to copy so you can see how we have things set up and then build your own stories from those models. Most likely you will have to remake your NPC appearance cards because those don't transfer well across grids.

1) Looking at the controller content above you see a simple demo that will rez two characters, then sit them on a rock with a PMAC script and a couple of dances inside.

2) The controller prim contains the sequencer script, the appearances for the two characters, and the story card where you will craft your scene.

Assign Your NPCs a Number

Look at the first line, the first number 1 is the number you assign to that NPC when you spawn it. You can have up to 20 NPCs controlled by one controller. We're just using two here so I assigned Namaka the number one and if you scan down that first column every command that starts with a 1 is something Namaka will do.

Set the timing between events

The second number dictates the amount of time, in seconds, to wait before executing the next row of information in the card. This allows you to control the flow of a scene. If you are delivering a lengthy block of dialogue all at once, you want to give a few seconds for that to be read and absorbed by visitors before the next character speaks. If you deliver a three word comment, the timing before the next event can be quite short. you can set this timing as short as tenths of a second.

Make sure your punctuation is correct

Every programmer reading this blog just shuddered, but I'm an everyday author and this is how we think when we tell a story. We punctuate our scripts.
a) Each number needs a comma after
b) You need to put in a quote before you give the command.
c) Each command is preceded by an @ sign and there is no space between it and the command.
d) If a command requires specific information insert an equal sign and place info behind it. If it requires more that one information parameter, the parameters get separated by that vertical line called a pipe.
e) Every line closes with a quote.
It's a lot like the rules for punctuating dialog.

Choose a command

There are 12 possible commands I am going to talk about today for this simple demo:
@spawn=Firstname Lastname| <x,y,z>|AppearanceCardName   Rezzes an NPC at set coordinates
@say= The words you want the characters to deliver in local chatNPC dialogue

@delete deletes NPC
@touch=name_of_object_to_touch Lets an NPC activate a scripted object.
@walk=<x,y,z>  Insert the numerical coordinates for the x,y, and z positions of the destination.
@appearance=name_of_new_appearance card
@rotate=degrees_to_rotate Turns NPC to face a new direction.

That's it, four easy steps for each line you add to the story sequencer. So that first line, assigns Namaka Sun the number one and puts her at location 63, 202, 79. The next line puts Dylan in position. Fourth and fifth tell them to sit on the Dance object which is filled with an initial embrace, kiss, and a couple of dances for them to play through. All that in is the Dance object and preset so saves me programming them to do all that. This could just as easily have been poseballs I sat them on. The cool thing is that the next two lines of dialogue can happen while they are sitting on the Dance. So they talk while they dance.

Having the ability to sit characters on an object which plays through a series of animations (this could work just as well for sitting at a dinner table, eating and drinking while they chat) enables storytellers to give their audience action and dialogue at the same time.

This is easy to do. It's understandable without a degree in computer science. It's free. All of these elements make Opensimulator an excellent platform for authors and artists to learn how to use virtual reality to inspire, promote, and create their work.

Our Immersive Edge story launches Nov 7-8 at  We will have presentations at 9 and noon Pacific time both days. Each program will start with a short presentation and be followed by a guided tour of the story.

To learn more about Immersive Edge and how you can be there for the opening of the story and live demos of the tools go here:

If you've never been inworld and want to learn how to do that so you can join us, go here and follow the tutorial:  Get that done ahead of launch day.

We currently have the portals to the story turned off but I will activate them on launch day so everyone can visit for presentations or view the story scenes at their leisure.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

How the Hypergrid Made Us More Than We Were...

This is where we were last fall. That is just a concept shot. You can see the final result at Take the teleporter to Dixie Land Band and take home all the makings to try putting together your own band. The lizard band was fun and the most complicated thing we could do with an NPC. It was born from a collaboration between Endora Twinklens and Fred Beckhusen as part of our Hypergrid Story project for OSCC 2014.

This is why events like OSCC, AvatarFest, and Hypergrid Stories are important. They bring us together to share knowledge and work as teams to come up with those wow-factor projects. For the members of the Greyville Writer's Colony they are a chance to explore merging storytelling with 3D worlds.

We love visiting beautiful worlds, intriguing worlds, worlds that make us think.

Chapter Six: Nostalgie by Cherry Manga and Praline B

Ending C -- a virtual paradise by Avia Bonne

Personable characters you can interact with is a new feature we'd like to see more widely adopted. When you set down a character on a scene, especially a character that invites visitors to become a part of the activity, you deepen immersion and a visitor connection to your creation.

Chapter One Demon Dance by Nara Malone,  Shannan Albright and Neo Cortex.

Chapter Five Cheshire Cat by Fred Beckhusen and Sunbeam Magic

Chapter Three Tree Guides by Serene Jewel and Fred Beckhusen

We've come a long way in the year since we released that second round of hypergrid stories. We had 8 different stories by 8 authors in that build. This time around we wanted to see what would happen if we tried to tell a story together. Greyville Writers put out the call to the artists, scripters, and builders whose work we admire. We shared a moment of sheer panic when everyone said yes. This was going to happen. We were going to be spending the summer creating with intimidatingly talented folks.

Traditionally group stories are crazy-quilt tales lacking a common thread or coherence. That didn't happen with Immersive Edge. I'm still in awe of what this team effort produced. We have all learned and grown skills and craft over the course of this project that we now take back to our own grids. The weekend we launch we will be giving presentations on the tools developed to create Immersive Edge and gifting them to the Opensim community. This is why the hypergrid is so important to Opensim.

Immersive Edge is an interactive story using tools that allow us to bring characters to life as NPCs that lead you through the story and invite you to join in the adventure. It was created by members from around the hypergrid community. You'll journey through 9 regions/chapters and choose the ending you want for the characters. Learn more at the Hypergrid Story website.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tales from the Hypergrid Nights

Vector's Vortex

This is a story I've been struggling to find my way into telling. The usual travelogue doesn't suit what this is. This is more than tourism. It's a magic carpet ride. The sort of magic carpet that might manifest as a bubble, or a flying book, or even as dragons.

Outworldz: Dragons
Next Reality

Can you imagine? But it is more than imagining. It is immersing. It is more than following a guide and listening to the spiel. It is a group immersion. Where the travel group learns to act as a whole and make things happen. One is the head another the feet. If you lose someone the team works together to get them back. We have gone from separate curious avatars to being able to dance together as one body of many unique beings. We dance together every chance we get.
Vector's Vortex

Dark Shadows

Yo Frankie

We are the tales we will tell you. We are a shape-shifting crew of travelers,
Vector's Vortex pic by Karima Hoisan

 in an invisible boat sailing through Arcadia Asylum's imagination with Virtual Christine as navigator.

Spirit of Arcadia

Spirit of Arcadia

We are stalking the Gorillas in the Mists of Virunga with our cameras.

Virunga Mountains

Virunga Mountains

We have a need for speed. Be it by motor cycle, tiger, or cow.

Motopolis Opensim Speedway

Pantherian Swamp

Yo Frankie MooFerd Track
We take our hunts beyond the plains and swamps to search for treasure at Winter,


Winter Hunt

search for romance at The Valentine Hunt/Ball,

Truelie Telling at the  Coca

Shannans World
Shannans World

and search for each other across intricate and beautiful regions at Ekisaito


Meeting Ekisaito creator Oopsee Joseppe (blue dress)

Celebrating Mardis Gras at the French Quarter and Meddlesome Roleplay.

French Quarter

Meddlesome Roleplay

We have a need for story be it a reading at Seanchai, visiting the ghosts of Hypergrid Tales lingering at the Redlight Club, or touring the World of Turia built as a tribute to the 33 novels of John Norman's Gor series?
Seanchai Library on Kitely Grid

Redlight Club Next Reality Grid

Turia at Counter Earth Grid

During our tenth journey on the magic carpet of the Hypergrid Nights. We wandered through the interactive educational builds at VIBE grid. 


 Then our sleepless and winter-weary band of explorers made the last hop of the evening to The Library of Alexandria region.


The oracle asked what I was looking for.

Me: Sleep.

Oracle: Sorry I can't find that.

Me: That's okay. Neither can I.

I asked for romance instead.

She carried me off in a bubble to an island in the sky.


The library delivered a book to my inventory. The Little Princess.  Girls where I come from don't get to be princesses. I've always been down with that. I'd rather ride dragons than be rescued from them. But maybe you shouldn't write off the princess life until you've looked it over.

Talia Sunsong

Would it be so bad to twirl around a ballroom in the arms of a dark-eyed prince. Isn't that what stories are for, a way to try a thing on before you buy into it? 

Our adventurers have spent ten different nights trying on unique realities. May there be many morenights, at least a hundred times that, plus one more.

Perhaps with Osgrid returned we can visit 1001 Nights region. The Mysts of Devokan are waiting our arrival and I  believe we'll be surfing in Hawaii and tubing down the lava tubes.  There's is an opening day at the ballpark in Dankoville and, and... You will have to come and see. We're always plotting fun.

List of sites we visited the first ten weeks: Library
Next Reality--
Virunga Mountains--

Spirit of Arcadia 1-13 on Sanctuary:
Turia-- 2 Quarter:'s Vortex: Roleplay:
Yo Frankie-- Opensim Speedway

VIBE-- Swamp: World Island: Muir 1: